Snow Festival Kicks Off in Sapporo, Japan

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Hundreds of giant ice sculptures go on display a snow festival in Japan. And the cold weather didn't stop visitors from coming to the event.

Giant ice sculptures drew in thousands of visitors at a snow festival in Sapporo, Japan on Monday. It has become one of Japan's biggest tourist attractions, which started in 1950.

There were more than 250 pieces on display, as visitors braved sub-freezing temperatures to take a look.

The works on display ranged from Disney characters to a sculpture of Japan's popular baseball player Yuki Saito.

Sculptures of famous structures from overseas also made an appearance with China's Temple of Heaven. The actual temple complex southeast of Beijing, was founded in the first half of the 15th century and boasts recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Preparations for the festival began a month ago. And local media reported that trucks brought in over 6,000 loads of snow to create the sculptures.

Last year, more than 2.4 million visitors attended the festival.

This festival runs for one week, giving visitors until Sunday to enjoy the winter wonderland.